Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)
TITLE: Blest be the Tie that Binds
By Arlene Showalter
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“What is it, daughter?”
“My son,” I said. “He’s hanging with the wrong crowd.”
“What would be the ‘wrong crowd’,” God asked.
“You know, kids that do the wrong things. Drinking, smoking and sneaking out at night.”
“How do you know he’s doing these things?”
“He’s my son.” I fought to keep indignation from my voice.
“He was mine first.”
“Then why don’t you do something?” I sputtered.
“Look at him,” God said.
I crept into my son’s room and looked his sleeping form up and down. I shrugged my shoulders.
I peered into my son’s face. Nothing. I studied his arms, slightly bulging with his growing strength.
“I don’t see anything,” taking our conversation inward, knowing God’s ability to read my thoughts.
“Keep going,” he replied in our silent conversation. “And look closer.”
I bent my body over my son’s and searched his chest. Something, almost microscopic, caught my eye. I leaned in. There, by his heart, protruded a slender, blood-red line.
“Follow it,” God commanded.
I turned, left the room and stepped into the future. The line took me to a drunken, drugged-saturated party.
“No, NO! I won’t let him go there!” I grabbed the line. A shock shot through my hand, up my arm and almost landed me on the floor.
“He’s my son,” I wailed.
“He was mine first.”
The line stretched on into the dark. I couldn’t see what my son welcomed into his life; only surmise what I thought he might be up to. The years passed. The darkness grew.
“God, you can’t love him anymore,” I said, after learning my son moved in with a married woman. “Impossible.”
“Check the line,” he said. I touched it. It remained taut.
“Why didn’t it throw me to the floor?” I asked.
“Because you didn’t grab it.”
I travelled on. “I can’t do this anymore,” sobbing , after my son’s third DUI.
“Do you still love him?” God asked.
“Of course I do. How could you ask such a question? He’s still my son.”
“I love him more,” God said, “and I loved him first.”
I lay on the floor, spent — done.
“Daughter,” God’s voice wafted over me like a cooling sea breeze. “Look up.”
I struggled to my knees and peered into the future. A mammoth heart, pulsating both red and blue blood, loomed before me. My son’s lifeline stretched taut, tied about the center of the Son.
“Oh, God,” I cried. “My son.”
“I love him so.”
“I love him most.”
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